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Texas Forts Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Robert Lee


Old Coke County Jail, Robert Lee, Texas.

The county seat of Coke County, Robert Lee is located at the junction of State highways 158 and 208 north of San Angelo.

Robert Lee was founded by two Confederate veterans - R. E. Cartledge and his father-in-law L. B. Harris. The men named the community in honor of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. After a heated contest, Robert Lee won the county seat election over nearby Hayrick in 1891. Immediately following the election, most of the Hayrick population moved to Robert Lee.

Around 1876 a roup of Texas Rangers were sent to the area to quell disturbances over fence-cutting. The Rangers were overpowered, disarmed and made to cut fences themselves. Soon a special session of the legislature was called and fence cutting was made a felony.

A rock courthouse was built in 1891 and replaced in 1956. A major recreational center for the area is the E. V. Spence Reservoir (formerly the Robert Lee Reservoir), two miles west of town, completed in 1970. 


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